Abolish your notions about poetry. Begin again.
Poetry need not be calculus when an abacus will suffice. PIN values simplicity over all, aspires to a poetry accessible to those who have learned to fear rather than enjoy poetry. PIN eschews all schools of modern and post-modern poetry. If anything it adheres to the highest principles of Japanese haiku: a notion, a moment, an image: a machine as simple and powerful as the wheel.
Forget Shakespeare (for now) and all the ancients with their archaic language. (We hope you will return to them refreshed by your visit here.) Ignore poetry you may encounter in contemporary magazines with its cryptic, coded messages. Such poetry is beautiful, valuable, worth the effort once one learns to read it, but one does not start mathematics at calculus. We aspire to a poetry that is accessible, poetry any reader here could aspire to write themselves, poetry that will serve as a gateway drug to the more complex forms. We wish to take you, as your music teacher did long ago, from “Peter and the Wolf” to Bach.
This is a poetry that returns to its affinity to music. It is literally lyrical. We love assonance, the choral assembly of vowels, and consonance: the collision of consonants. It is rhythmic without being iambic: “da DUMB da DUMB da DUMB.”. Rather it is the regularity of the heartbeat as it rises and falls with the effort, and at moments seems to skip a beat when confronted with a fright, or an insight, or simple beauty. It sings to us, as we hope it sings to you. It tells you this is not a newspaper story or a recipe but the magic of poetry.
We hope that, reading here, you will find a poetry that will take you by the hand, and lead you from your childhood love of nursery rhymes and Dr. Seuss and onto the path toward capital P Poetry. Our goal: simplicity for comprehension (See Jane run) and beauty to hook you as the lure enchants the fish. (Look, you have just survived a metaphor. It didn’t hurt at all, did it; not as it did the fish.).
Poetry Is Not aspires to a Poetry that is not what you have come to believe poetry is, something beyond your comprehension, a chore not a pleasure. Once comfortable here, we hope the next time you encounter a poem you will have internalized some basic principles without ever being taught them, just as a beautiful but complex piece of Classical music speaks to your soul through the language of music you have nurtured since childhood. Come along for a bit, as the hymn says: “taste and see.”
“Come away, Oh human child
From the waters and the wild
With a fairy, hand in hand
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.”
There. You just read a few lines of one of the major poets of the 20th century, William Butler Yeats. (He is a good place to start reconsidering poetry).
That didn’t hurt a bit, did it?